Finding new skills for wealth creation
Nigerians are born go-getters. We know how to make an empire out of scrapes and we know how to overcome in trying times. This recession is no different. Women, especially, the backbone of any community, know how to get on. Women are best attributed to their hands-on approach to community development, which is suitable for post-conflict rehabilitation strategizing given their experience in management and sustainability from family life to farm life and inner workings of community commerce and trade. That being said, what are ways women in Nigeria are currently dealing with the recession, making progress and even growing businesses and personal wealth despite the economic setback?
Skills acquisition is the new source for multiple streams of income for potential wealth creation. Whether you are saving to buy property or need capital to start and run your own business, acquiring new skills is leading many women and men out of the ills of the economic recession.
Women, especially, need to embrace self-employment (even if on part-time basis) through skills acquisition, entrepreneurship, self-reliance and financial empowerment. Here are some facts I mentioned in the previous article worth restating: Women represent 66% of the world’s working hours, but earn only earn 10% of the world’s income and half of what men make. Also, women represent 70% of the world’s poor yet make up half the world’s population.
Always remember: we need to overcome the current economic recession through gender equality and inclusiveness.
Women have always been great managers of community and home. The recession is not enough to break our stride. So here are some impactful ways that women (and men) can, not only overcome the recession but, reinvigorate the economy and break some glass ceilings of women advancement while at it:
Explore part time work that can be done after work: think about activities you can do at any hour of the day that may not necessarily require your presence. Teaching a niche course is also another good way you can plan your schedule based on your own time and your student(s) flexibility.
Whether you have a PhD, fresh out of University or haven’t attended college at all, there are skills centres where you can gain certificates in skills like event management and décor, textile design, catering, fashion design and tailoring, photography, and more that you can use at your own capacity to grow economically. Whether it’s adding to your already fixed salary or gaining a whole new profession, find a centre nearest you that can offer you job training or vocational training as another source of income. Starting a business where you can eventually employ others is another avenue worth venturing. You need multiple streams of income to overcome the brunt of the recession so get creative, get out of your immediate comfort zone, get your hands dirty and push for the opportunity to add extra lines of income, and be prepared with the skills training for when the door opens.
Make investments. Learn the appropriate type of investments you should be making for your specific age group. For example, women in their 30s-40s benefit more by having split savings into long and short-term goals. Women in this age group should think equities for long-term and liquid assets for short term, and growth is the target. All age groups can find out what is suitable for your life by seeking the advice of a financial professional. Investment property is a great source of sustainable generational wealth.
You can find a group of like-minded individuals who are interested in coming together as a cooperative (Co-Op) group. In Lagos, co-ops must be a minimum of ten people and all must be 18 years of age. They consist of general members, management committee, board of directors, and can even have various sub committees. At the end of each year the management committee must come back to give feedback to all members. In co-ops, remaining surplus will be given to members as dividends. Co-ops are not taxed anywhere in the world. Finding funding for co-ops can include grants and donations, entrance fee, shares capital, ordinary / special savings, a loan, and sales proceeds/ investment income. Another check and balance of a co-op is in the arrangement that no member can hold more than one fifth of the shares.
Another creative stream of income is looking into leisure-to-wealth activities such as arts & crafts, pottery, making of cast iron pots etc. to enhance economic values. These are activities that start out as a hobby but if interest grows, can grow into a lucrative business where you can hire other workers to produce your designs and prototypes.
The main challenge for women entrepreneurs is that they need access to network, mentorship and capital. Gaining capital from investors for your company would require you to understand the need that your company is fulfilling and having a good grip on your business plan as to articulate to investors why they should bank on you and your idea. You need to also have a depth of understanding in your particular industry. If seeking an investor, be specific on your product/ service and be ready to demonstrate to potential investor how it will also make them money. These are all for the goal of fuelling the next cycle of growth among women entrepreneurs, investors, and overall wealth builders through the use of skills acquisition including financial literacy.